Visualising the connector supply chain

In this Q&A article, PEI-Genesis’ Senior Buyer and Expedite Team Lead, Sally-Anne Giles and Senior Buyer Kyle Bennett walk readers through trends in connector purchasing, plus tools the company uses to support customers 

From a purchaser’s perspective, how has the circular connector sector advanced over recent years?

One trend we noticed is customers looking for more sustainable and eco-friendly connector solutions, so we have worked with many suppliers to bring RoHS and REACH compliant solutions to market. Over coming years, we expect purchasing of standard cadmium olive drab components for military solutions will start to decrease as demand for VG–J plating, RoHS and REACH compliant tin zinc nickel increases. With prioritisation of smaller, lighter and faster circular connectors, purchasing has become more dynamic, leading to a closer working relationship with manufacturers to provide application specific connectors based on military standards. Examples are the many 38999 derivatives we now have available.

Has PEI identified changes in general buying habits or specific industrial market sectors?

The new post-pandemic normal, coupled with climate and social challenges, have seen unprecedented cost increases and lead time escalations. This has changed the way we purchase for almost every market. As a value-add distributor we must ensure we have the right stock in place, at the right time. Circular connectors are often the last component an engineer thinks of, requiring a fast turnaround. Where possible, we have taken advantage of scheduling deliveries and/or increasing stock holding on top-moving lines. This lets us provide a solution well under standard lead times. 

What are potential mistakes buyers make when purchasing connectors?

In the markets we serve, technologies are rapidly changing presenting a potential risk when purchasing components that may no longer be required. Believing that history repeats itself could cause loss of visibility on current and future market demand. Enabling true demand through strategic partnerships will guide PEI to stay relevant. This is especially important when introducing new products to market. 

Has PEI introduced new tools or services to make connector selection or buying easier?

As industry “Trusted Advisors” we offer customers solutions guides, cookbooks, engineer driven technical support and datasheets via our website, blogs, videos, and much more to assist with the decision making process and buying journey. Customers are also able to search part numbers, alternatives, accessories and tools on our website, add to cart and easily checkout. We are guided by our core iCARE values of Innovation and Integrity; Continuous Measurable Improvement; A Team Approach; Respect; and Excellence to Others. Internally, purchasing work closely with business analysts to discover innovative tools to review and manage inventory levels.  These tools are embedded in PEI and enable pro-active visualisation and decision making on inventory and NPI. This constant evaluation ensures that the customer stays top-of-mind and that they have access to all the information required to make connector selection an buying easier.

Customers can partner with PEI-Genesis and be confident that we will be much more to them than a typical distributor. We will work with them to understand their needs, their challenges and their operational context so that we can better serve them and exceed their expectations.